Foot Fetishes as Neural Crosstalk

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Feet are important to most of us. We need them to get around but for others, we adorn them to extend our overall look or appeal. Take a recent article about Madonna’s preference for shoes over sex. Apparently this has been verified by the one and only Jimmy Choo, yes the actual name behind the brand (or the designer who was formerly associated with the band. Choo is no longer associated with his namesake in shoes that sit in stores). According to NY Daily News:

“Madonna told me that buying a pair of my shoes is more satisfying than having sex with a man,” Choo says.

“At least you know they are going to last forever!”

I don’t really get what Choo is talking about as I don’t have the unlimited income to invest in thousands of shoes to get more wear for my dollar. My much loved favorites don’t last more than two years. Cheaper shoe brands don’t have the same craftmanship as a designer shoe and the designs are rather limited. It doesn’t matter how a shoe is copied, the copy is always a crappy version of the real thing.

If  Madonna actually said that she prefers shoes to sex, is it correct to assert that she has a foot fetish? Don’t all women who melt at the sight of a well designed heel have a foot fetish? I’m not so sure, but if our eye is drawn to a lonely shoe in a window, then it’s also drawn to the shoes worn by other women. We do like to compare and what better comparison than seeing an actual foot in a shoe we’re coveting?

Foot fetishism for beginners:

  • A foot fetish is described as a sexual interest in the feet or shoes. Early forms of foot fetishes in history can be seen in the old Chinese custom of foot binding, a really torturous tradition aimed at stunting the growth of a girl’s foot. The modern form of foot binding, I guess, may be the sky high heel and the development of associated bunions after prolonged use. One quick glance at the feet of famous heel fetishists like Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham is proof enough that daily heels aren’t a good look (out of the shoe).
  • The attraction of the foot to the fetishist is broad and can span the length of the foot, the length of toes, odor, just about anything.
  • The most mind boggling theory about the cause of foot fetishism has been proposed by a neurologist: that foot fetishm is caused by the feet and genitals occupying adjacent areas in the brain’s somatosensory cortex and that the fetish is simply neural cross wiring.
  • Famous foot fetishists include Andy Warhol and Elvis Presley.

Either way, it’s interesting to see how throughout history, the foot has become more and more adorned. From ancient reliefs in Egypt, the foot isn’t so much of a standout. Feet are usually encased in simple sandals. As we move ahead however, things become more complicated. The more developed cities become, the more enclosed shoes become and this is natural. The hygiene factor increases as populations increase. After all, fungal infections of the foot are no fun. But hygiene aside, a quick glance at feet within any large city (weather permitting; weather conditions in some locations don’t permit open shoes all year round) and there are just as many varieties of pedicures as there are shoes. There is foot jewelry. The foot has led to a micro industry of sorts and in recent times, has led to celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez dedicating entire songs to shoes and shoe designers (“Louboutins”).

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